Submission Guidelines

I welcome guest blogger queries from real people, including those who have not written a travel article before but would like to. smiley

I recommend you read this page twice to let it sink in.

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Page Contents

Tips for Success
The Aim of Travel Writing
Rights and Permissions
Travel Writer Crash Course . . . it’s free. And fun!
Become a Staff Writer
Word Count
Photos
MT’s Policies on Links Within Articles
MT’s Policies on Historic Facts
Editing and Revisions
Your Bio & Author Photo
Ready to Query? Here’s how.

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Tips for Success

SUCCESS TIP #1: I’m not interested in content you’ve merely researched. Milliver’s Travels is about real people doing real travel and writing about it with passion from a personal perspective. Check out the tagline for the site—found in the header under the name of the site—to understand the spirit in which we write. If you don’t have the budget for world travel, not a problem. I’m just as interested as stories from your own backyard. (You can learn more about that during the Travel Writer Crash Course available below.)

SUCCESS TIP #2: The format of every story follows a certain formula: captions for your photos are compulsory and every story must conclude with a short bio and author photo. These guidelines will show you how to provide all that when you submit your story materials.

SUCCESS TIP #3: If anything about these guidelines has you unsure of what to do, email me to ask for help. I appreciate writers who ask for help—not only because it can save me a bunch of backtracking to help you unsnarl something, but it’s also fulfilling to build a relationship with your editor.

If you’re worried your question might be dumb, take a risk and ask for help anyway; you might be glad you did. (The only dumb question would be if you didn’t first read all the way through the guidelines and you were asking something that could be answered by doing the reading.)

My email address for questions is: .

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The Aim of Travel Writing

I don’t aspire to encompass all of the aims of travel writing on this site, but to write for my intended audience these are the feelings I like to inspire. . . .

Ponder the last movie you saw at the cinema. If the movie was wonderful, your eloquence might have swayed family or friends to want to go see it. Your passion might have even convinced them to take action—maybe not to rush to the cinema today, but perhaps to pull out their iPhone to add it to their Netflix queue.

The challenge is to leave your readers with dreams of going to destination X, doing activity Y or eating at restaurant Z. “You’ve made me want to go there!” is the desired response. Here’s how one reader expressed it in her blog comment:

A vacation is not in my immediate future, so I especially enjoy reading about such lovely places that I can dream of one day visiting!

The raison d’être for this blog is to have fun writing articles that will convince my readers to want to travel and have more fun.

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Important Notice About Rights & Permissions

All writing submitted must be your original work. By allowing Milliver’s Travels to publish your work, you are giving this site First Worldwide Internet Rights and Perpetual Rights (see User Content in our Site Policies for more details). All photos you offer to this site must either be the property of the guest blogger or, if obtained elsewhere, must come with express permission and receive the proper credit. Any guest blogger who violates someone else’s copyright will have their article(s) and image(s) removed immediately.

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The Best Way to Write Something I’ll Want
to Publish (aka Travel Writer Crash Course)

Travel Writer Crash Course | milliverstravels.comConsider this your genie’s lamp for coming up with story ideas that I’ll love to publish. This article will supply you with all kinds of hints for travel story ideas, plus links to good examples.

If you study this article and follow as many of the links as possible, you can’t go wrong. All you’ll need then is a good query letter (you’ll see tips for that in the section on how to query). Click on the Eiffel Tower at your right and the article will pop up in a new browser tab.

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Become a Staff Writer

Interested? Qualifying to become a staff writer at Milliver’s is not difficult. All you have to do is have two stories accepted as a guest blogger.

Making a good submission as a guest blogger is the first step. A good submission simply means you appreciate the editor’s time enough to read our guidelines thoroughly and provide everything we ask for, so Milli can format your post without a bunch of follow-ups.

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Word Count

I don’t have a set limit. A good story can be anything from 525 to 1,000 words. If yours exceeds 1,000 words, that might still be OK. I welcome the occasional hefty article as long as your topic warrants the length. The tip in the next paragraph will help you sort ‘good long’ from ‘unnecessarily long.’

If you suspect you have an undue length issue, let your article sit for a day or two. Then go back and give it this simple test:

Have I tried to cover too many aspects in one article?

Your article will be too general if you try to capture what you love about an entire country. Instead of trying to bring us up to speed on everything about, say, Egypt, pick one aspect. Write about that bent and withered street vendor who took you home to meet his family, where you experienced home-prepared local cuisine.

Here’s a good example of honing in on one aspect from my trip to the Montreal Jazz Festival (opens in a new browser tab):

Chinatown in Montréal

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Photo Sizes, Captions, Permissions & How to Submit Your Photo Album

This is a visual blog, so it’s imperative to have photos to go with your article.

Please send your photos in their original size. (Don’t try to resize the photos yourself as we may need a different crop.) Please use Google+ to submit your photos (it’s drag and drop and very easy to use).

Be sure to use captions to describe your photos to me: where they were taken and what the subject is. Even if it seems very obvious what the photo is, it’s my job as editor to be accurate. Please describe every photo.

TIP #1: I never use stock photos. (If you don’t know what a stock photo is, ask me.) Milliver’s Travels is about the personalized travel experience, not about sending me free photos that you found by googling—and especially if you don’t know how to interpret the rights that come with each image.

TIP #2: They must all be photos you have PERMISSION TO USE. (Ideally, they’ll be photos you took yourself.) For instance, if you obtained permission from your friend John to use a photo from his blog, the credit would look like this:

Photo courtesy John T. Blogger of Johnsblog.com

Naturally, you’ll receive credit on your own photos.

TIP #3: Wondering how many photos you should submit? There’s no limit (within reason), and we like being given choices of which photos to use. The one caveat is to not make us wade through all your junk shots. Please remove the blurry ones, the personal ones, the boring ones, etc. If you’re submitting photos for more than one story, PLEASE give us separate albums. Going through 300 photos to find 8-12 to use for your current story is not our idea of fun.

WHEN IT’S TIME TO SUBMIT YOUR PHOTO ALBUM, please first check that all your photos have been captioned. And then add this email address to your Google+ album:

This is the email address for staff writer Estrella Azul, who is also our photo editor.

PLEASE ALSO CHECK YOUR ALBUM SETTINGS to ensure that anyone you add to your album has permission to download. If we cannot download photos from your album then we cannot process your story. If you need help finding this setting, please contact Milli for assistance.

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MT’s Policies on Links Within Articles

Stories on Milliver’s Travels usually do contain links, and the criteria for links is additional helpful info for the reader. As a good example, here’s a story that contains helpful links:

Lake Lure, North Carolina

If they don’t lend themselves to being placed within the article, you can also have a few links listed at the end of your story (for that I create an area called Related Topics). Or you can provide a summary of the what/where/when details relevant to the place/activity discussed in your story, including a link to the place/activity’s own website. Look at the end of this article for a good example of the latter:

Blossoms Cafe, Mansfield, Ohio

I may also add affiliate text links or visual ads to your story. I do this tastefully, being careful not to jar the reader from your story. (See Site Policies for more detail.) For an example of how that can look, see this story:

Confessions of a Disneyophile: Resort Stays, Codes, and Other Useful Park Tips

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MT’s Policies on Historic Facts

For settings steeped in history, the policy is for our writers to focus on their own experiences interacting with the historical site, rather than imparting historical facts.

There are two reasons for this. One is that I don’t have time to check the facts. And it’s amazing how the sticklers of this world can sniff out a website whenever there’s a fact to be disputed. I dislike getting those kinds of comments here at Milliver’s Travels—it’s such a downer for what’s meant to be a fun site.

The other reason is because I love originality. I don’t like to publish anything chock full of facts that can be read on other websites, or on Wikipedia. Why should readers choose our site when they can read the same stuff on a dozen other historical sites? So, please, skip the heavy research and tell the story from your own experience.

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Editing/Revising Your Submission

Please proofread your article before you submit.

Avoid long paragraphs. Long paragraphs tend to look extra long when presented on the screen. 60-80 words is a good length for a longish paragraph on a blog.

I never publish guest bloggers until I’ve been through myself, correcting errors and making sure your text really flows.

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Your Bio and Author Photo

Every guest blog post features a photo of the writer (sized to approx. 100 x 140) plus approximately 50 words about your life and achievements. You can include 3-4 links to websites, blogs, articles or profiles that you’d like readers to visit.

Here’s an example of one of the bios I use online:

Milli Thornton


MILLI THORNTON is the author of Fear of Writing and still misses Australia, where she lived for 25 years. A bit of a gypsy, she currently lives and thrives in Taos, New Mexico. Milli hosts 10K Day for Writers and coaches writers at Writer’s Muse Coaching Service.

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Ready to Query? Here’s how.

After you’ve thoroughly reviewed these guidelines, I would then love to hear from you with your proposed article idea.

1. Please DO NOT submit your article and photos until you’ve been accepted.

2. In your query, please give me some details about your proposed story and photos. Don’t be afraid to sell me your story. If you’re not passionate about your travel story, why should I be?

3. Please be sure to tell me why you want to write for Milliver’s Travels.

Thank you. I’m looking forward to receiving your query. — Milli